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Jason P. Stewart, et al v. California Department of Education

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 15, 2012

JASON P. STEWART, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge

ORDER SPREADING MANDATE OF UNITED STATES COURT OF CIRCUIT; VACATING APPEAL MANDATE HEARING; GRANTING DEFENDANTS POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.'s REQUEST TO WAIVE FURTHER PROCEEDINGS RE: VEXATIOUS LITIGANT DETERMINATION APPEALS FOR THE NINTH APPEAL MANDATE

On September 20, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit entered judgment in this case, affirming this Court's February 8, 2010 Judgment dismissing Plaintiffs' claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; vacating the Court's February 8, 2010 Order declaring Plaintiff Lindsey Stewart a vexatious litigant and imposing a pre-filing injunction; and remanding the action to this Court for further consideration of its pre-filing determination. The circuit court's judgment took effect October 15, 2012, and constitutes the formal mandate issued pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. The mandate is spread, and this Court once again has jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly, the Court VACATES the Appeal Mandate hearing previously scheduled for November 27, 2012.

VEXATIOUS LITIGANT MOTION

On June 4, 2009, Defendants Poway Unified School District, et al. filed a Motion for an Order Requiring Plaintiffs to Furnish Security Pursuant to California Civil Procedure Section 391, et seq., arguing that Plaintiff Lindsey Stewart qualifies as a vexatious litigant. See Civil Case No. 08cv2254-MMA, Doc. No. 24. In its February 8, 2010 Order, the Court granted Defendants' motion and issued a pre-filing injunction against Ms. Stewart. See Doc. No. 189. As noted above, the circuit court vacated that portion of the Court's February 8, 2010 Order granting the motion and issuing the injunction, and remanded the matter for further consideration upon the basis of a more fully developed record.

On November 13, 2012, Defendants Poway Unified School District, et al. filed a Notice of Intent to Dismiss Vexatious Litigant Claim. See Doc. No. 207. Defendants now request "to waive any further follow-up proceedings on the pre-filing determination of a vexatious litigant designation against Lindsey Stewart." Id. As such, the Court shall consider Defendants' motion withdrawn.

CONCLUSION

It is well-settled that "a mandate is controlling as to matters within its compass." Sprague v. Ticonic Nat'l Bank, 307 U.S. 161, 168 (1939). The rule of mandate prohibits a lower court, upon receiving the mandate of a higher court, from "vary[ing] it or examin[ing] it for any other purpose than execution." However, "the lower court may consider and decide any matters left open by the mandate of the court." United States v. Cote, 51 F.3d 178, 181-82 (9th Cir. 1995) (alterations and quotation marks omitted), quoting In re Sanford Fork & Tool Co., 160 U.S. 247, 255-56 (1895). The vexatious litigant issue presented in Defendant's June 4, 2009 motion was the only issue remaining open for reconsideration by this Court on remand. Hence, there are no further matters within the purview of this Court to determine.

The circuit court has affirmed this Court's February 8, 2010 Judgment dismissing Plaintiffs' claims. See Doc. No. 190. The Judgment remains in full force and effect and this case remains closed.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20121115

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